The Trinity Certificate for Practising Teachers (CertPT) course for success in your classroom
Most teacher development courses are focused on the teaching that you do: how to teach more effectively, methods and techniques that are successful for teachers, and techniques that teachers can use in any setting. However, these broad development points may not fit the specific work that you do in your classrooms, with your students, and using the materials that you have to use in your teaching setting. Just as training to be a baker will not necessarily equip you to run a cafe (even though the cafe may serve sandwiches and cakes) , it’s hard to implement many techniques designed for smaller groups in private language education settings, for example, in larger high-school or university settings.
The Trinity CertPT is different. This next-level qualification focuses on the specific context where you teach, and how best to meet the needs of the learners that you work with. This contextually-informed approach allows every teacher to define their own development action plan, and work towards broader improvements in how they address the needs of the specific learner groups that they work with.
As a result, the skills for success on the CertPT course are not the same as for other development courses. The course is built around a combination of research, reflection and a focus on materials design and adaptation. Here are some tips to help you to perform to your best on the CertPT course:
Build a reading list that fits your setting
Research into methods and approaches that fit your learning setting is an important part of the work we do on the CertPT. This can take time, so it’s a good idea to browse through the reading list which we supply in our pre-course pack before the course starts, highlighting any resources that match the type of teaching that you do. Whether you work with young learners, university students or adult professionals, we recommend some key texts that can help you to enhance your teaching (and of course your students’ learning). Having these to hand before the course starts will save you valuable time and effort.
Know your learners
As mentioned above, the context where you work and the specific learners that you teach are central to the activity that you do on the CertPT course. All assignment work, planning and teaching activity that you do for the course is performed through the lens of the specific learner or learners who you teach. It sounds obvious, but if you get to know your learners better, and you will be able to address their needs more intuitively. Thinking in this learner-centric way in the lead-up to the course will help you to focus your assignment work when you come to complete the assessed tasks for the course.
How do the learners in this group learn best?
What are their preferred strategies for learning?
What engages the group? Does the same thing engage everyone in the class?
What language requirements do these learners have? Are they preparing for a test or an exam? A workplace assessment? An important interview?
Do the learners currently study from a textbook or other set resource? How effective is it for them? Why?
If you could change the activities that they perform in class, how would you do that?
What barriers are there to learning for some of the learners in the group? Why? What could you do to help them to overcome these barriers?
Think about target outcomes
Another aspect of the CertPT is the specific goals and outcomes that your learners are working towards. Are these designed by the learners themselves? Or are they working to an external curriculum? This can change the ways that students are motivated to learn, and how they engage with course content, so is an important consideration when thinking about the design and delivery of the materials we use.
Manage your time
As with most academic and professional courses (especially those held online), time management is key to success. As an in-service qualification, you will be balancing your teaching work with completion of tasks and assignments for the course on the CertPT, so make sure that you can devote an hour or two each day to thinking about your coursework, even when you are in the classroom working with your students.
The above strategies will help you to succeed on this practical development course, and with the guidance of your tutors, and a good knowledge of your students, their study preferences, needs and motivations, the CertPT can give you greater insight into what works for you and the classes that you teach, developing a wide range of methodological and theoretical skills along the way.
Language Point Teacher Education Ltd. delivers the internationally recognised RQF level 5 Trinity CertTESOL, and the level 6 Trinity College Certificate for Practising Teachers, a contextually-informed teacher development qualification with specific courses which focus on online language education or online methodology.
Our next Trinity CertPT course will run from November 20th, 2023 - February 9th, 2024 (with a 2-week break mid-course for Christmas and New Year).